National Geographic : 2002 Jul
demolished but the tall central structure that contains D reactor, one of nine that made plutonium. D reactor won't be torn down until 2077, when radioactivity has diminished. The shell of a school (facing page) is nearly all that remains of Hanford town. Its 300 citizens were relocated in 1943, when con struction of the site began. Wearing lead-impregnated gloves to protect against radi ation, a Hanford technician secures a lid on a drum of low-level waste (above). The compactor at rear crushes these drums so more can be held in storage. A tank farm at Hanford (left), built in the 1940s, used only single wall tanks to store radioactive sludge from plutonium pro cessing. Many of the tanks leaked, tainting groundwater.